Kobelco upbeat on Indian market

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Japanese construction equipment manufacturer Kobelco is one of the major excavator players across the globe. How significant is the Indian market for your business?
India is one of the most promising economies in the world. If we look at the global construction market in the next 10 years, India has the highest potential to grow. Today, the size of the Excavator market in India is 20,000 units per year which is too small in compared to developed countries like Japan or the US. So, if you we look at the size of the country and its population, there is tremendous growth potential. On the contrary, though India is being projected as the land of opportunities for the past 10 years, there is nothing much happening at the ground level. However, we believe, finally the time has come for India to register exponential growth.

Today, the government has expressed commitment to invest huge amount of money for the road construction and other infrastructure projects which will spur the demand for superior quality construction machinery. In 2016, we enjoyed around 40 per cent growth in excavator sales and expect around 10 per cent growth this year.

Seeing the increasing opportunities in the Indian market, what are your strategies to gain maximum market share?
Our strategy is to continue providing the best machines in terms of highest efficiency and productivity. At EXCON, we launched 38-tonne Generation 10 excavator – the SK380XDLC. We believe that increased productivity is the key to increase customer satisfaction. Our focus is to provide best products that result in great customer satisfaction and this differentiates our product from the competitors.

What are the unique features of your Generation 10 excavators?
Our Generation 10 excavators are really good in terms of efficiency, productivity and also reduce the total cost of ownership in the long run. These excavators are much more enabled in terms of electronics and IT to generate, use, and analyse information for the benefit of customer usage and for the machine. The newly launched 38-tonne excavator is a preferred choice in most mining and quarrying applications like granite and marble mining.

How is the acceptance of Generation 10 excavators in India?
In India, we introduced 22-tonne Generation 10 excavator SK220XDLC during April 2017. Seeing the overwhelming response for this machine, we have decided to launch the 38-tonne model. We are confident that Kobelco’s Generation 10 excavators will revolutionise the mining activities in India. In 2018, we are planning to launch our 50-tonne excavator SK500LC-10 – which is being considered as the giant machine for earthmoving and construction.

What kind of investment plan you have for Indian market?
We are in the process of enhancing productivity in our manufacturing facility located at Sri City in Andhra Pradesh. The factory was set up in 2011 and since then the production capacity is almost doubled. Today it has the capacity to produce about 2,000 units per annum which is 10 per cent of the total excavator market size in India. So, as of now, we are well-equipped to cater to the current demand and further expansion of our factory in the future is under study.

How efficient are your ‘Made in India’ excavators?
We maintain one global quality across our manufacturing facilities. However, in India, operators operate excavators in the roughest way. Today our ‘Made in India’ excavators are the toughest machines in the world. We give lots of emphasis in strengthening undercarriage and boom arm.

In 2018, we are planning to launch our 50-tonne excavator SK500LC-10 – which is being considered as the giant machine for earthmoving and construction.
Yutaka (Mike) Goto, Managing Director & CEO,
Kobelco Construction Equipment India Pvt Ltd

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